There’s such an urgent need for skilled workers in the trades, this is a great time for women to enter the field. In fact, a career in the trades will often pay more than most office jobs that women traditionally have been hired for, and the pay gap is much more narrow than most industries!. And while stereotyping and prejudice will still occur, there are more resources than ever available to support and combat these decreasing practices. Here are some of the organizations who can help support you if you’re a woman interested in a career in the trades:
OTI – Oregon Tradeswomen
This Oregon based organization leads the country in encouraging a diverse workforce, and offers innovative trades-based training programs, trades awareness activities and technical assistance to organizations seeking to be inclusive of women in their trade occupations. They now have almost 400 members with support of industry employers, and they host an annual trades career fair for women and girls.
This nonprofit originated out of projects initiated through OTI, and now is an independent educational organization that teaches 8-14 year old girls about carpentry, plumbing, electricity, and more at after-school classes and one-week summer camps.
The National Association of Women in Construction
The membership based organization supports women in the trades with information and education, recognition, scholarships, and an annual national conference. They work through higher education and industry sponsor partnerships.
Western Resources Center for Women in Apprenticeship
They help to increase the number of women entering and completing apprenticeships and trade careers by helping them learn more about apprenticeship opportunities and providing current tradeswomen with resources to support their long term success in the trades. They also help employers recruit women.
WCOE – Women Construction Owners & Executives
WCOE helps women executives and women-owned businesses succeed in the construction industry. They offer support and create opportunities for women, including mentorship and peer-to-peer assistance. They also influence legislation by advocating for issues that are important to women in the trades, including access to business financing and federal contracting opportunities.
ANEW – Apprenticeship & Nontraditional Employment for Women
This Seattle-based organization offers pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs for both women and men interested in a career in the trades. They also help with employment navigation and financial support for craftsmen and women. They host youth programs as well as an annual summit.
Working in the trades offers many options for both steady ongoing work or short-term building project assignments, and technology has created more of a variety of types of skills needed beyond the typical heavy work. If you’re a woman in the trades, or are interested in getting into the trades, give Madden a call or visit www.mici.com. We can help you find work, guide you to an apprenticeship program, or point you to the resources you need.